SportsNCAA and Conference USA ban championship events in Mississippi...

NCAA and Conference USA ban championship events in Mississippi over state flag

-

- Advertisment -

On June 19, the NCAA Board of Governors announced a ban on any championship events from being held in Mississippi until the Confederate symbol is removed from the state flag.

The NCAA’s decision came a day after Southeastern Conference (SEC) Commissioner Greg Sankey warned that, if the flag is not changed, the conference would consider preventing championship play in the state. 

“It is past time for change to be made to the flag of the State of Mississippi,” Sankey said. “Our students deserve an opportunity to learn and compete in environments that are inclusive and welcoming to all.”

Shortly after, Conference USA also announced they are banning all championship events in Mississippi until the flag is changed.

If the flag is unchanged by the time collegiate sports begin postseason play, Southern Miss teams could be affected by the new policies. While a previous policy prevented teams in states that flew the Confederate flag from hosting predetermined events, the new policy says that no championship events, including non-determined ones, will be allowed in Mississippi. 

Had this happened in 2017, when Southern Miss earned the right to host baseball Regionals in Hattiesburg, said event would no longer be allowed. This is important to note for baseball especially, as the 2022 Conference USA baseball tournament was planned to be played in Hattiesburg.

The presidents of Mississippi’s eight public universities, including Southern Miss President Rodney Bennett, issued a joint statement in which they supported the NCAA’s decision.

“Several years ago, our universities recognized that the Mississippi state flag in its current form is divisive and chose to lower the flag on our campuses,” they said. “Today, we are committed to continuing to do our part to ensure Mississippi is united in its pursuit of a future that is free of racism and discrimination. Such a future must include a new state flag.”

The presidents acknowledged that the new policies could result in significant financial losses, but stand by their priority of changing the flag. “We look forward to a time when Mississippi’s state flag unites Mississippians, rather than divides us,” they said.

Southern Miss Director of Athletics Jerry McClain backed the joint statement on his Twitter. “I fully support this statement from our higher education leaders throughout the state of Mississippi,” McClain said. “It is time to make this long overdue change and allow us as Mississippians to pursue a brighter future TOGETHER!”

While the state flag has been a topic of debate for decades, weeks of national protests against police brutality and systemic racism have refocused attention on Mississippi’s use of Confederate symbolism.

In the past month, state legislators have proposed initiatives to change the flag, but there is a debate on whether legislators or state citizens should decide the issue. Gov. Tate Reeves is among those who believe that the issue should be given to state citizens to vote on
In 2001, citizens voted on a similar issue during the Mississippi Flag Referendum. 64% of voters decided to keep the state flag with the Confederate emblem. In a more recent poll, however, voter support dropped to 46%, with only 9% undecided on the issue.

- Advertisement -

Latest news

Too much football? NFL crosses the line with new rule change

On March 30, 2021, NFL owners voted their approval on a certain set of rules for the new...

Students express concern about semester during omicron surge

Students returned to in-person classes last Wednesday, Jan. 19. Combined with the anxiety of classes and assignments, students are...

“Come Cuddle Canines” invites Southern Miss students to pursue volunteer opportunities

Southern Miss students gathering in the Luckyday Breezeway on Thursday, Jan. 20 for “Come Cuddle Canines” met two friendly...

Cordae continues a strong year of music with the release of ‘From a Bird’s Eye View’

Grammy-nominated artist Cordae dropped his sophomore album, ‘From a Bird’s Eye View’, exceeding expectations of the project’s hype. Cordae made...

Lady Eagles drop winning streak to late rush from Blue Raiders

(Photo/Charles Arnold) The Lady Eagles' three-game win streak ended Saturday afternoon after collapsing in the fourth quarter against Middle Tennessee,...

Message from the President

University of Southern Mississippi President Dr. Rodney Bennett sent this message to all students and faculty Jan. 21, 2022: Dear...

Must read

Too much football? NFL crosses the line with new rule change

On March 30, 2021, NFL owners voted their...

Students express concern about semester during omicron surge

Students returned to in-person classes last Wednesday, Jan. 19....
- Advertisement -

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you